Cowboys' Stephen Jones: Dak Prescott's Best Timeline for Injury Return Is Weeks 4, 5

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 19, 2022

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on before kickoff against the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys remain optimistic Dak Prescott can return by Week 4 or 5.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan's The K&C Masterpiece that Prescott is "absolutely out" for Dallas' upcoming clash with the New York Giants after having undergone thumb surgery.

However, his return could come the following week.

"I think the very best it would be would be Washington or the Rams," Jones said.

"We just won't know until we get closer to really give an educated guess. Right now, I will say this, so far everything has gone his way. From the surgery to the swelling after the surgery [that] was very minimal compared to what it can be. We're just optimistic about it."

ESPN's Todd Archer initially reported Prescott was expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks. However, team owner Jerry Jones said the team wasn't placing the two-time Pro Bowler on injured reserve, pointing toward a potentially earlier return date.

The Cowboys saw what life is like without Prescott for an extended stretch when they finished 6-10 in 2020. He suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the fifth game of the season, forcing Dallas to lean on Andy Dalton as the primary replacement and the pair of Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert as spot starters.

So far, the sky isn't falling in North Texas. Cooper Rush went 19-of-31 for 235 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Still, the 28-year-old doesn't inspire a ton of confidence, nor does the Cowboys' performance through two weeks dispel the concerns that were raised following an uneventful offseason. Dallas lost a few key players, most notably Amari Cooper and Randy Gregory, and did little to address those losses.

If Prescott does wind up getting back in time to play the Washington Commanders on Oct. 2 or the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 9, then the team might be able to tread water long enough. Should his recovery extend into late October or early November, his absence could derail what was already a tricky road back to the playoffs.